Minister Siti Calls for NGOs Involvement for Aceh Forest Management Planning

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Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar. Photo: Kosasih

Jakarta (Greeners) – Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar received Aceh governor to discuss on forest management in Aceh, with Leuser Ecosystem as the main agenda.

Previously, Leuser Ecosystem made spotlight after Hollywood actor, Leonardo DiCaprio went to Leuser Mountain National Park, Southeast Aceh.

Siti said that her office has been monitoring on Save Leuser Ecosystem petition and had requested Aceh administration to give room for civil societies to come up with concept of forest management related to Leuser Ecosystem area.

“What concerns NGOs in Aceh is the 326,080 hectares of other use areas (APL). So, NGOs must be involved so that leadership is present and resulted to better policies,” said Minister Siti after the meeting, in Jakarta, on Wednesday (20/4).

Aceh Governor, Zaini Abdullah, said that forest areas accounted for 65 percent which was still above minimum coverage areas stipulated by the law.

“Aceh administration had implemented mining and oil palm moratoriums in Leuser Ecosystem areas. Nevertheless, we could not stop permits already being issued,” he said.

Furthermore, he said that he issued governor regulation in 2013 related to regional technical working unit establishment in seven Forest Management Unit (KPH) based on Watershed management.

Leuser Ecosystem Area, located in Leuser Mountain National Park and known for its biodiversity richness, inaugurated through Ministerial decision letter No. 277/1995 and Presidential Decision No. 33/1998.

Furthermore, Forestry Ministerial decision No. 190/2001 declared 2,255,577 hectares of Leuser Ecosystem Area divided into two, forest areas [Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve, Leuser Mountain National Park, Linge Isaq Hunting Park, protected forest, limited production forest, and production forest ] with a total of 1,929,497 hectares and APL with a total of 326,080 ha.

The latter area has been used for housing areas, public facilities, people’s plantation and private plantation with Business Permit. At least 25 Business Permit for plantations operating before the area was inaugurated.

Reports by Danny Kosasih